Thomson Park Scenic Reserve, Trip #43

cc people IMG_1665
Examining a rock face, covered with mosses, lichens and ferns.

Thomson Park Scenic Reserve is south of Sugarloaf Scenic Reserve, on the Port Hills. In June (2017) we had a look at an area in the northeast of the reserve, around Gilpins and Mitchells tracks.

cc map IMG_1639

We explored some grassland, rock outcrops and bush. There were not many animals to be seen on this occasion, except for a few birds.

cc scenery IMG_1751
Cloud surrounding the communications tower.
cc rock outcrop with plants IMG_1712
Rock outcrop, on the south side.
cc rock outcrop with plants IMG_1708
Rock outcrop, on the south side.
cc rock outcrop with plants IMG_1641
Rock outcrop, with mosses, lichens, ferns.
cc rock outcrop IMG_1618
Rock outcrop with silver tussock, bush lawyer, ferns, lichens and shrubs.
cc rock outcrop with plants IMG_1711
Rock outcrop and hillside, on the south side.
cc scenery IMG_1741
Inside the bush at the back of Sugarloaf.
cc scenery IMG_1720
Inside the bush at the back of Sugarloaf.
cc mosses and lichens IMG_1713
Mosses and lichens.
Moss (Breutelia sp.) and lichen (Cladia aggregata). Photo by SF.

Below is more detail for some of what we saw.

SF took several of the photos in this post (noted in the captions), and CM has posted photos too, see here.


cc Nostoc IMG_1623
Star jelly (Nostoc sp.).


Liverwort, unidentified species.

Liverwort, unidentified species.


cc umbrella moss IMG_1721
Umbrella moss (Hypnodendron sp.).
cc Hypnum cupressiforme IMG_1609
Cypress-leaved plait-moss (Hypnum cupressiforme).
cc Grimmia pulvinata IMG_1662
Grey-cushioned grimmia (Grimmia pulvinata).
cc Polytrichum juniperinum IMG_1644
Juniper polytrichum moss (Polytrichum juniperinum).
cc Breutelia IMG_1628
Breutelia sp.
cc moss 32 IMG_1746
Moss, unidentified species.


cc Blechnum pennamarina IMG_1676
Little hard fern (Blechnum penna-marina). The spore producing fronds are the dark ones.
cc Microsorum pustulatum IMG_1748
Hound’s tongue fern (Microsorum pustulatum).
cc Pteridium esculentum IMG_1659
Bracken (Pteridium esculentum).
Several ferns, mosses and lichens. Photo by SF.

Herbaceous Plants

cc Aciphylla subflabellata IMG_1643
Aciphylla subflabellata, concealed in amongst grasses.


cc Parsonsia heterophylla IMG_1717
NZ jasmine (Parsonsia heterophylla).
cc Rubus squarrosus IMG_1758
Leafless lawyer (Rubus squarrosus), with its distinctive yellow prickles.

Trees & Shrubs

Niniao (Helichrysum lanceolatum).

cc Kunzea IMG_1640
Rawirinui (Kunzea robusta).
cc Melicytus ramiflorus IMG_1611
Mahoe (Melicytus ramiflorus).
cc Pseudopanax IMG_1750
Five finger (Pseudopanax arboreus).
cc Cordyline australis IMG_1719
Cabbage tree (Cordyline australis).


cc Teloshistes velifer IMG_1770
Lots of different lichens, including the yellow Teloschistes velifer.
cc Pseudocyphellaria IMG_1646
Specklebelly lichen (Pseudocyphellaria sp.)
cc Pseudocyphellaria crocata IMG_1605
Yellow specklebelly (Pseudocyphellaria crocata).
cc Pseudocyphallaria billardieri IMG_1726
A lichen in the family Lobariaceae.
cc Placopsis rhodophthalma IMG_1765
Lichen on a rock (Placopsis rhodophthalma).
cc Cladonia IMG_1650
Stereocaulon sp.
cc Cladia aggregata IMG_1657
Cladia aggregata (which is a complex of 4 species in NZ).

Despite the cold day, we had a very enjoyable trip, and are keen to return again soon.

Our thanks to NatureWatch for help with identifications.

cc scenery IMG_1603
View of Lyttelton Harbour from the Reserve.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: